Back in January, Microsoft released the second major update for Windows 10 Technical Preview. The latest preview, build 9926, is a more stable release and it’s giving us a better look to what the software maker will make available later this fall.
However, Windows 10 still far from complete and even though anyone can download and test drive it and help Microsoft by submitting feedbacks, it’s not a version you should be installing in your primary computer or using it as your primary operating system.
I’ve been using Windows 10 since the first release, but I’ve been testing it on a virtual machine. So, with the release of Windows 10 build 9926, I thought on giving the new operating system a real test drive on my on my Dell XPS 15 9530.
Knowing exactly what I was getting involved to, as a precaution, I first created a full backup of my Windows 8.1 PC. Then I logged in to the Windows Insider program to download and install the prep tool to upgrade my system.
Finally, I proceeded with the installation of Windows 10 build 9926, after a few reboots and going through the initial configuration, I landed in the newly release build, which includes the new Start menu that replaces the Start screen from Windows 8.1, the ability to run modern apps alongside desktop applications, and Cortana now appears in the taskbar and it works (limited), though it’s only available in the United States.
Also the build 9926 brings a new Tablet mode, which is a feature that Microsoft also calls Continuum, and it allows 2-in-1 devices to optimize the desktop for touch and for those devices without a keyboard mouse.
In addition, of course, there are tons of new apps like Camera, Store (beta), Xbox, OneNote, Calculator, Alarms, and many more to play with.
However, shortly after the installation things started to go wrong… I have to reinstall manually the video driver. My Bluetooth mouse and audio receiver adapter suddenly stopped working. Also every time I try to open the Start menu or maximize a window the operating system will freeze for like a second, which over time it became very annoying. Plus, the Start menu also crashed quite often.
I did try making sure I had installed all the latest updates and reinstalling the device drivers. However this did not work. For example, after reinstalling the Bluetooth driver, actually erased the adapter from the Device Manager and there was no way to get it back. At the end things just ware not working out, it started affecting my work and it was time to make a decision.
After a while, unable to make Windows 10 run smoothly, I made the hard decision to roll the operating system back to Windows 8.1. One thing I noticed is that if you install Windows 10 on top of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, this time around Microsoft is including a rollback option in the boot menu of Windows 10.
Instead of restoring my computer from backup, I made the choice of using the rollback option Microsoft was offering. I rebooted the computer, click the “Windows Rollback” option from the boot menu and after a few clicks and about fifteen minutes, I was back to a fully stable working version of Windows 8.1 — or at least that is what I thought.
As it turned out, the rollback feature in the preview version of Windows 10 did not work as I expected. Somehow, my Bluetooth devices still didn’t work and many modern apps were broken in the rollback process.
At the end, I was glad having a full backup of Windows 8.1. Finally, I simply connected my external hard drive to the computer, I open PC settings, and from Update & recovery, and clicking Restart now from the Recovery page, to access the Advanced Start options.
Then I simply clicked on Troubleshoot, Advanced options, and System Image Recovery to restore Windows 8.1 from the external hard drive.
The System Image Recovery took a bit of time, but after an hour I was back up and running again.
At the end of the day, the latest preview of Windows 10 is the most stable version of the operating system. Things are working better and eventually it will be ready for primetime, but today you should not rely on the operating system that isn’t complete. However, if you decide to try it, you should be installing Windows 10 preview on a spare computer or virtual machine. If you want to test drive Windows 10 by upgrading your current operating system, you should create a full backup of your current system before making any other decisions, even if you have a rollback option — you won’t be sorry.